According to the company, the fraudster sends an SMS or a missed call to the user (from an international number with country code +92), and on returning the call he informs the user of having won an operator-sponsored lottery.
The fraudster then attempts to con the customer into divulging personal information and pay a “commission” to get the lottery. Airtel has asked its users to refrain from responding to missed calls from unknown numbers, especially those beginning with +92.
It has also asked users to refrain from sharing any personal information like identity proofs handset IMEI or SIM card numbers.
In November, Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI), the GSM service providers’ body, had warned subscribers of fraudulent calls purporting to be from mobile service providers. The calls are believed to be originating from Pakistan and Dubai numbers, according to COAI.
Full text of the advisory:-
Airtel has learnt that customers are arbitrarily being targeted by callers who pretend to be calling on behalf of the customer’s telecom operator and inform the recipient that he/she has won a lottery/award conducted by the respective telecom operator.
In such instances, the customer receives a missed call from a number starting with +92. Upon returning the missed call (with the indicated country code) the unsuspecting customer reaches a fraudster pretending to be representative of Airtel or another mobile operator and informs the customer of having won an operator-sponsored lottery.
The fraudster then attempts to con the customer into divulging sensitive personal information and to pay a “commission” to receive the winnings. Such commission is usually asked to be paid via DTH recharge vouchers.Bharti Airtel would like to warn its customers that these are calls from fraudsters with malicious intent and they do not represent the company.
Accordingly, Airtel would like to issue a general advisory to all mobile/landline users to protect them from such malicious activities. These include:
•Avoid responding to suspicious missed calls from unknown numbers, especially those beginning with +92.
•Do not respond to any SMS from unknown sources prompting to call on a number.
•Refrain from sharing any personal information & identity proofs like Voter ID Number, PAN Number, Bank Account Number, Credit Card information or make any payment to people promising lottery or other unexpected awards.
•Do not disclose your handset IMEI or SIM card number to unknown callers. IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity) is a unique code given by handset manufacturer for your number. This can be obtained by pressing *#06#.
•In case of suspicious calls, report the same to the concerned security authorities / service provider.
For further information and details, Airtel customers are requested to visit our website at: http://www.airtel.in/fraudAlert/fraudalert.html
The person behind Mobile Operator code, former telecom specialist.